The Best and Worst Tools For SEO

SEO Tools

Content is central to how well your website performs in search engines. Poor quality content that doesn’t engage readers and get them liking, sharing and commenting will do little for your positioning in the SERPs. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of a few tools we think you’ll find useful to help you decide which are the best tools out there for improving SEO. Because let’s face it, it’s a pretty saturated market and it can be difficult to determine the best without trying them all – no small task in itself.

Convert Word Documents to Clean HTML

Webmasters using the Joomla platform have found the content doesn’t always convert to HTML format and subsequently turns your article content into junk code. If you have ever opened a Word file only to find shapes akin to ancient writing of unknown origin you will be familiar with said junk code. And since this is what search engine robots read, Word content in Joomla is potential SEO suicide. Fortunately, Convert Word Documents to Clean HTML does exactly what it says on the download and even better – it´s free.

Copyscape

One of the biggest and most damaging sins of a content writer is to post duplicate content. This is plagiarism and involves copy and pasting content from a third party website and using it as your own material. When Google robots identify duplicate content the website incurs a penalty until the duplicate content is removed.

If you hire a writer to produce web content on your behalf, it’s in your best interests to check the material they submit has not been copied and pasted from another website. By running the content through Copyscape you will be able to determine whether the content is original. There is a free version that checks content by entering a URL to check that the content you’ve posted is unique, or you can pay for each time you paste an article into the Pro version.

It’s just 5c (USD) for each search, so it’s hardly going to break the bank and worth it to ensure you don’t run across any unscrupulous individuals who sell the content of others or use text spinners.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

It’s important to monitor signals on your website that affect SEO, whether good or bad. The Screaming Frog SEO Spider can be installed locally onto your system and is arguably the best software to gather information and export it into an excel document so you can analyse the data. The program allows you to filter info into common SEO issues to make analysis quicker and easier.

Majestic

One such SEO issue it is essential to analyse is all of the inbound and outgoing links associated with your website. If you have too many poor links pointing at your URL, Google will suspect that you’re attempting to manipulate search results using black hat tactics and will subsequently penalise you by taking your website offline, which is obviously damaging to your business. In fact, for some it’s a fatal event that there’s no coming back from.

Majestic has won awards and is recognized as the most effective link-building tool on the market. The software is a credible source to identify links pointing to your site which will give you sufficient information to determine which links are more damaging to your website and should be removed.

With Majestic, you can use their metrics to look at your link profile, which should build naturally.

Majestic Trust Flow

With Majestic trust and citation metrics, a good link profile grows close to the diagonal line and gradually works its way up. What you think is a low-quality site isn’t necessarily bad as it depends on the quality of your own site. This means if you’re only getting link-backs from high domain authority sites on the scale, then it’s likely that Google will see it as suspicious and like you have actually purchased the link. Like everything in business, it takes nurturing to grow, there are no shortcuts.

In the first example, there is very little clustering and yet links are appearing way up the scale. This gives the impression that you’re chasing links and more than likely paying for them. It’s not always the case; a writer may suddenly find success and find links back to their site suddenly coming from a good source. However, the Google Authorship program should address this.

SEMRush

Keywords may not carry the same weight with search engine robots as they used to, but they still have a significant role to play in the indexing and locating of your website. The Hummingbird algorithm is able to understand the context of content; therefore it identifies a scope of keywords rather than targeted keywords. What this means is that it’s still necessary to use keywords (especially for PPC), but no longer is it viable to use a high density or use them in the HTML meta information.

SEMrush records a huge amount of data stripped from search engines for those who intend to narrow down their list of targeted keywords to the strongest keywords that are most used to search the subjects content is related to. But more than that, the software pulls information from organic data that tells you which keywords have the best page and landing page rank.

Worst Tools

Knowing which tools will aid your cause for improved ranking is all very well and good, but what about SEO tools and practices that harm your page rank?

Article Spinners

Search engines are looking for partners that provide well-written content. Article spinning machines may have their benefits in churning out content you can consistently post to your blog, but the standard of the articles does not compare with an originally written piece of work.

Search engine robots are sophisticated enough to be able to identify poorly spun content and although there is some advanced article spinning software on the market that can outwit search engine robots, it will not pass for “quality” content by internet users – and search engines are ready to put more trust in the opinion of end-users to help rank websites. Add to this the updates made to the search engine in the past few years and using spinners is very risky.

Google Disavow

When Google launched Disavow to help penalised webmasters rid their site of inorganic and poor quality links everybody was singing Big G´s praises. However, now SEO technicians have had the opportunity to analyse the software, it turns out we shouldn’t have been as grateful and humble to the search engine giant.

Following numerous complaints, Google´s Eric Kuan posted a message warning online business owners that Google Disavow may potentially be harmful to their page rank. It seems that Google Disavow is not quite sophisticated enough to determine which links are actually harmful and which are not. Subsequently, web owners have removed perfectly good links to the detriment of their page rank.

There are plenty of SEO tools that will help you improve your page ranking, but the best way to stay ahead of the game is to learn good practice and hire professionals to take care of your business site. Knowing what’s good and what’s not is important too though, so that you can hire the right professionals.

17 SEO Myths
Kerry Butters

A prolific technology writer, Kerry was an authority in her field and produced content for a variety of high profile sites in her niche. Also a published author, she adored the written word and all things tech and internet related. Sadly she passed away in February 2016 after a valiant battle with cancer.

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